Would your business come to a standstill if you didn’t show up for work tomorrow?


Planes falling out of the sky, mass black-outs and widespread death and destruction… just imagine what kinds of disasters could befall us if people like air traffic controllers, power station engineers and police and medical staff decided not to go to work today. Of course none of this would actually happen, because all of these people have others on standby to fill in for them, should the need arise. But the question is, do you?

A lot of people think that being the big boss means being the best at everything. They couldn’t be more wrong, because that means your entire business is completely dependent on one person, and if anything happens to them, you lose your best asset in every division. This is why learning to delegate is one of the most vital pillars in building a successful business that will propel you upward instead of keeping you back, chained to overseeing every micro-move your employees make. This is where business systems come in.

Business systems are made up of documented procedures, processes and protocols that allow your business to run without you, or any other employee for that matter. They have a vital role to play in both productivity pushing and contingency planning. How can you take a sick day if you cannot trust anyone to fill your shoes while you’re away, and what do you do if one of your employees leaves suddenly and without warning? Implementing good business systems will fast-track the solutions to these problems. So why aren’t more business leaders going out of their way to roll them out?

First of all, business systems should never be outsourced entirely to a third party. Of course, it is a good idea to get expert advice where necessary, but you as the business owner should be having the final say at the end of the day. This is because no one knows your business inside and out like you do and systems often need to change and evolve over time. Do you really want to put the road map to your company’s future in the hands of someone who is not personally invested in it?

The only downside to standing at the helm of your business system development is that it takes time. Quite a lot of time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and mapping out every inch and corner of your day-to-day finance, management and operations processes can seem like an even more challenging task, especially when you have deadlines to meet and profit margins to grow. But here’s the only motivation you need: time is money and implementing good business systems will free up more hours of your day… eventually, that is.

While it may take you two, five or even ten times as long to measure and streamline the ‘know how’ that powers your business than it would just to explain the relevant information to an employee for the current situation, at least you won’t have to do it over and over again. Indeed, you may need to tweak this all-encompassing collection of business bibles every now and then, but you’ll save hours and hours that you would have spent repeating yourself. So now you have more time to focus on more important aspects of the business, or even take that well deserved vacation.

In addition to clearing your calendar, business systems will also ensure consistency, give you more scalability, lower labour costs and raise your business’s resale value, because your systemised business allows the buyer to simply slip in to the driver seat and pick up where you left off. So stop being your business and get back to running and building it.

Reference: Piece by Pieter Scholtz, Co-Master Licensee for ActionCOACH in Southern Africa provided by Clockwork Media.


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